- Wheat gluten,
also called seitan , wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply
gluten, is a food made from the gluten of wheat.
gluten is the water-insoluble protein complex in the wheat
endosperm. Commercially it is the term given to industrial
by-products of wheat starch production via wet milling purposes. Its
composition is: 70 - 80% crude protein, 6 - 8% crude lipids, 10 -
14% carbohydrates, 0.8 - 1.4% minerals.
- Wheat gluten
is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch
dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as a gummy mass, which is
subject to further processing.
- If the gluten
is extracted and gently dried in hot air at moderate temperatures it
maintains it's characteristics. If so it is designated "vital
gluten". Vital gluten may be added as a dry powder to flour
otherwise low in gluten and thereby improve the baking qualities of
cold-ethanol method of separating wheat starch and protein from a
developed dough can successfully produce concentrated vital gluten
that has comparable or better functional performance than vital
gluten produced in aqueous methods.
- Gluten in
general is used as a meat extender in both food and feed. The
fermentation industry consumes large amounts of gluten and by acid
hydrolysis it is used for production of hydrolyzed vegetable protein
and glutamic acid.
- Wheat gluten
is very effective in binding meat chunks or trimmings together to
form restructured steaks or chops and may be applied simply by
dusting the meat pieces with dry gluten.
- The most
common usage of gluten in western countries has traditionally been,
and continues to be, in baked goods of various types. However, with
an increasing awareness of wheat glutenís unique structural
and functional properties has come an expanding diversity of
- Consumption of
vital wheat gluten in the U.S. has risen drastically. The demand for
more (and varied) bakery products has driven the demand for vital
wheat gluten. Also, increased gluten availability from the EU,
Australia, and other countries has driven down domestic prices and
made the use of vital wheat gluten in commercial baking operations
much more feasible in recent years.
vital wheat gluten prices are relatively low (high) when supplies of
high protein U.S. wheat are high (low). However, low protein
contents within the domestic wheat crop means that domestic vital
wheat gluten production is also low. This increases demand for vital
wheat gluten manufactured in other countries.
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